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New Nervous Maltese Owner
by Chris
New Nervous Maltese Owner My wife and I are the very proud owners of "Falco" our very cute little Maltese male. I used to be very afraid of dogs and look forward to erasing many fears I've had. My wife is a dog lover and grew up with dogs - outside. Because I have never had a dog before (Falco is still at the breeders for several weeks) I am not comfortable with the dog sleeping in the bed. Having been previously afraid of dogs, I also know how it feels to be uncomfortable around them and as a result would like to train Falco to not go into the living room or our bed. I hope this is not cruel. He can have the run of the rest of the house - it's big enough. I definitely want to provide a home full of love and attention. Can obedience training teach a dog to not go into a certain room? Am I nuts for thinking this way? Am I cruel for not wanting the dog to sleep with us and rather sleep in a kennel? (afterall we've only been married 8 months!!!) Having said all this - we can't wait for our little Austrian rocker "Falco" to come home... Please help if you can. Thanks


Hi Chris! The best way to get over fear is to face it! I am a social worker and I specialize in treating anxiety/panic disorders. You really should see someone about this to help you with this fear of dogs that you have. Especially since you're bringing one home soon. It would not be fair to the dog to come into a home where one of his caretakers is afraid of him. He'll sense that. And no, you are not nuts-just afraid. If you chose to have the dog sleep in a crate instead of with you in bed, I would recommend putting the crate next to your bed at eye level(like on a small, sturdy table) so the dog does not feel isolated or like he is being punished. Also, put a crate cover and a blanket in the crate for him and maybe even a toy. Also, if you don't allow the dog in the living room, make sure you are spending time with him where he is allowed to go so he's not alone. Maltese do not like to be alone. They are very high maintenance dogs. Good Luck to you!

Well, I am so happy that you posted your concerns, that shows a lot on your part. A Maltese is not one to be shut out of parts of your life. They really and truly seem to be different. I don't understand why he can't go in the living room or bedroom. Although I wouldn't have Taffy sleep anywhere else but in our bed, I do understand that for others this is a no-no, which is fine, but why not a bed in your bedroom. They are very personable dogs, and need that companionship. My husband was also like you, in that he said "No dog in the bed"! That lasted 2 nights, and Taffy has been in bed every night since. He kisses her tummy, he puts her paw into his mouth, he hugs her and loves her very much. He spoils her as much as I do and would spend his last dime on her. Hopefully you will feel the same once you have that furry little bundle of joy. If you treat that baby like one of the family, then he will become one. If you don't, then he won't...and that's the bottom line.
Robin K.
Yes, you can train the baby not to go into areas where you would prefer him not to go. Just be consistent with the no's and removing him each time he enters the area where you don't want him. He probably won't be able to get on the bed without assistance (they are pretty small and beds are pretty high up) so that shouldn't be a problem at all. Having said that however, please report back to us in a few weeks or a month...I'd be willing to bet that once you get this fluff baby home and fall in love he will find himself in the bed, in the living room, in the bathroom, and anywhere else you are at any given moment--and you will totally forget you ever thought this was unacceptable .
cathy brown
Being a firm believer in letting my Buster sleep with me I am the wrong person to ask! Ha! I think him not sleeping with you is ok, but asking him not to go into the living room is a bit too much,unless this is a formal livingroom, just close it off somehow if you can. If the living room is a family room of course where you spend alot of time, then yes its a bit too much to ask of this little guy. These little fur babies are very lovable but will know if you are uncomfortable/afraid or don't like them. Malts are not a vicious dog so there is nothing to be afraid of. Believe me your heart will melt once you hold the little pup in your arms. Good Luck and keep us posted.
Libby & Buster
Chris, congratulations on your new addition! Maltese are such loving creatures you will soon forget that he is a dog and think of him as your baby! I know many let their dogs in their bed, I did my Yorkie for years - but finally switched him to crate sleeping when we got a waterbed and didn't want him to get caught in the rails. We no longer have the waterbed and the Yorkie has gone to Rainbow Bridge, but he also was very accustomed to not being allowed in a couple of room in our house. He would go to the doorway and look in, but not enter. Now we have Phoebe and she sleeps in her crate, I don't have to worry about her falling out or getting crushed or getting in the way. She has no problems. Read everything you can on this site - it's chock full of all sorts of great information! Good luck to you & your wife and baby Falco.
Leslie R
Hi Chris! I think that you have to do what is comfortable for you AND your puppy. We've had Tatoo for 6 months now and he is a little over 7 months old. When we first brought him home our bedroom was Off Limits for him, because he wasn't completely house broken AND you'll find out, they love to tear tissues. Anyway, he learned and would wait outside the door for us. He sleeps in the bathroom on his own feather pillow. He has a kennel there but usually goes in when he's still sleepy and we're fumbling around with the lights and he doesn't want to be bothered. The other reason he'll go in the kennel his when he is trying to make himself invisible (like at bath time or when he has torn up another houseplant). Now that he's house broken he's allowed to follow me into the bedroom and sometimes we play with him there, but he doesn't sleep in our bed and loves us just the same. Good luck! Vanetta
Chris, what's the reason you don't want Falco in the living room? Especially if that's where you spend your leisure time? Maltese aren't typical in that Falco's tail will not knock stuff off tables. His hair will not get all over the furniture. Falco will become as much a member of your family as a child. Would you ban a child from the living room? As for your bed, that is a different matter. Falco can sleep in a crate beside the bed. These furballs don't HAVE to sleep with you, but I'll bet the majority of us share our beds with them. I hope you don't ban little Falco from the living room, but here's how we kept Baxter out of the laundry room. (He bacame fond of raiding the cat box in there.) We started with a board on the floor across the doorway (about 8 inches high). Gradually, we went to lower boards until we just had a piece of tape across the floor and eventually that came up too. He will walk right up to the doorway and stop cold. The laundry room is where he gets groomed, not his favorite activity, so I'm sure that helped too. Good luck with your little fluffball. I'm sure your fears will diminish and you get to know him. He's gonna melt your heart, I just know it!
Hi Chris, never in a million years would I believe how my husband acts with ours Taffy, it surprises me and my 3 kids! Loves to take her for walks, plays ball in the back yard, and Taffy loves to lick him to death. She is only showing her affection. But shes my shadow! He claims when he was little, he was afraid of dogs, never particulary cared for them. Well, needless to say, Taffy sleeps with us, you have to melt when Taffy sleeps touching my husband or me with her chin on his leg, or her paw on his arm, hiding her little face, and licking him in the morning. You will experience love that you never knew you had, wait and see. When you look into their eyes, you will not believe the love you will have for one another! Good luck!
I sleep on my right side and once the lights are off, Fancy curls up next to my tummy. The first time he did this it was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. This little guy loves me so much and I him that I cannot imagine what my life was without him. I had all kinds of rules too when he first came home with me. Now we're just together. He's such a good, sweet boy that I can't wait to get home from work for his greeting! Relax, you're going to love it!
Sherry Sell
We have a situation where my son and I sometimes fight over who gets to have Cubbie sleep with him or her. These little sweethearts adore sleeping with their people. Most of the time, Cubbie sleeps with my husband and me. However, we do have an old fluffy quilt that we keep on the floor next to our bed for those nights we would rather Cubbie not sleep on the bed (it is rare when we do this). On the one night a week that my husband works all night, Cubbie waits for me to settle on my right side, and then he gets into position right behind my back near my neck and flops down! I love it and he does too.

Knowing the nature of this breed, I feel that your little baby will be happiest if he is allowed to be in your living room and bedroom. They are lap dogs, and believe me, your lap is the place the Malt loves best. I hope you will at least have a trial period allowing your new pup to be in the rooms you feel should be off limits. Give him and yourself a chance to make it work. I'll bet everything will be just fine. Good luck.

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